Real World

The Real World’s Unexpected Gay Star

Over the years, The Real World has seen multiple openly gay cast members. Its first season in 1992 featured Norman, who was the first gay cast member as well as a pioneer for homosexuals on television. The third season saw Pedro, an openly gay man who was HIV+. Throughout the years we’ve seen dozens of cast members who do not identify as heterosexual, but one of the most surprising cast choices was Karamo Brown from the Philadelphia season.

Karma’s original cast photo from The Real World taken in 2004.

It’s no secret that reality TV casts to fit molds, so when Karamo entered the Real World house in 2004 his cast immediately pegged him to be a part player and part gangster. In all actuality, Karamo was a gay man who had a strong relationship with his father and and spent a lot of time focusing on charitable and political causes he supported. After The Real World, Karamo appeared on The Inferno 2 but never appeared on a second Challenge season.

Since this time, Karamo has continue to represent and serve multiple populations, and has pursued a career in hosting. In 2013 he found himself in the news when he was granted custody of his two sons, becoming a single gay father. He found himself on the opposite side of news stories working for networks such as Fox and The Huffington Post.

Tonight, Karamo hosts a special on VH1 named “Out In Hip-Hop.” This special focuses on the topic of openly gay rappers in Hip-Hop and if the public is ready to see homosexuality represented in rap music.

In 2005, when The Real World Philadelphia aired, I would have been surprised to see Karamo being relevant 10 years later. However, it is clear that his passions have lead him to become a rising star and a strong representation for the gay community.


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